The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
'Serenity: Leaves on the Wind' #1
Story: Zack Whedon
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Karl Story
Colors: Laura Martin
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Editors: Scott Allie and Freddye Lins
Available: Comics shops (print) / Dark Horse (Apple + Android + Web)
Georges Jeanty, over his years on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic, has really perfected the art of drawing these characters we all know so well in a recognizable and yet very Georges Jeanty-ish way. Certainly the long shots suffer for lack of detail -- this page doesn't necessarily showcase the best of Jeanty's art in the way of facial features, certainly, but it is a great example of strong storytelling that does a solid job of telling the story it needs to do. It does this, too, with a primarily silent page. The anxiety of the characters -- these characters who love Zoe and Wash so much -- is clear in every line of their body language. It's also done in such a way that's representative of the differences of these different characters, making it not just an excellent page of storytelling but also a wonderful example of characterization in art. Mal paces, Kaylee constantly changes position, and River... sits completely still. It's a fun bit of storytelling that ticks time by quickly while still showing that time is seriously dragging within the world of the comic.
Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jamie McKelvie
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Letters: VC's Clayton Cowles
Editors: Lauren Sankovitch and Jon Moisan
Available: Comics shops (print) / Marvel (Apple + Android + Web)
Okay, fine, I've featured Young Avengers every month in this column. I can't help it. It's a damn good comic. Not only is the work of the whole regular team fantastic, the guest artists have always been top notch as well, including in this issue. This final nod of the series, though, goes to regular artist Jamie McKelvie. This page is a great example of some of the things that made this such an enjoyable comic: action, intra-team banter, great facial expressions, and solid layouts with fun quirks. The regular panels are solid but being set on the larger panel of America kicking really makes the page pop. Extra points for America's legs looking like actual human legs as they look when someone kicks instead of looking like sexy sticks. The final balloon would be better to the right of the last panel for best possible flow on this page, but the rest of the lettering is spot-on and excellent as always from Clayton Cowles.
If you want to submit sequential art that you think is great, shoot us an email at comicsalliance-at-gmail-dot-com with “Best Sequential Art” in the subject line. Artists, writers and editors are welcome to submit their own work — we won’t tell.